Summer Meatless Mondays: Pasta Ponza
Here is a delicious vegetarian pasta recipe I made recently using my favorite food of summer — tomatoes! I had some beautiful heirloom cherry tomatoes that I used. Roasting them only intensified their wonderful flavor! I would have enjoyed the tomato – caper – breadcrumb mixture on its own but it was even tastier when mixed with penne and Romano cheese.
Sorry about the lack of photos — I left my good camera in the Berkshires so I will be short on photos for a while.
Giada de Laurentiis
- Butter for greasing
- 2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 pound ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 ounces) Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.
Place the tomatoes, capers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.